Blake Wilde
Whitney Butters Wilde, Deseret News
Deseret News graphic

Utahns love their ice cream.

According to an infograph produced by Bundle, Utah is No. 8 on the list of top 10 ice cream consuming states.

As a native Utahn, I unashamedly admit I am a major contributor to this statistic. My coworkers know my favorite day of the year is the day building management brings in free ice cream, and my sisters and I spent many a summer day growing up sneaking ice cream for breakfast whenever our parents were out of the house (Sorry, Mom! Or maybe more like #sorrynotsorry?)

So when the idea came up at the office to take an ice cream tour of the Wasatch Front to determine which locally produced ice cream is the best, I took one for the team and volunteered for the task.

Each week from now until Labor Day, I will share my thoughts on a different ice cream shop, judging it based on variety of flavors, taste, atmosphere of the store and price.

It’s a difficult task, but let’s just say it is a sacrifice I am more than willing to make.

Mrs. Cavanaugh’s Chocolates and Ice Cream

The first stop on the tour is Mrs. Cavanaugh’s Chocolates and Ice Cream.

According to Mrs. Cavanaugh’s website, founder Marie Cavanaugh got her start in the candy business in South Dakota in the 1960s with her aunt’s pecan-rolls recipe. Once she heard Utah was “the place for chocolatiers and candy-masters,” she moved her family and her business to Utah in 1972.

Mrs. Cavanaugh’s has six different locations on the Wasatch Front, and I stopped by the Bountiful store to sample its fare. This particular store offered 12 different flavors, a few of which contain pieces of Mrs. Cavanaugh’s famous chocolates. Flavors included pralines, caramel and cream, bubble gum, Cashew Trinidad, cookies and cream, Granny Fudge, rocky road and more, but for anyone who favors fruity desserts, Mrs. Cavanaugh’s has limited options.

I asked the workers behind the counter what their most popular flavor is, and the two said almost in perfect unison that the Mindy Mint ice cream is by far their best seller, so I ordered a scoop of Mindy Mint and a scoop of strawberry for the sake of variety.

The Bountiful store doesn’t have much by way of indoor seating but does have a few tables outside under an awning, making an adequate place to enjoy your ice cream on a summer night. The price of Mrs. Cavanaugh’s ice cream is a good bang for the buck and, with tax included in the listed prices, it makes for a nice and even transaction, especially for a kid counting coins from a piggy bank.

A single scoop cone proved to be a generous proportion, and both the Mindy Mint and strawberry flavors were thick enough to stand up well on a cone despite the summer heat. A complaint I often have with strawberry ice cream is the strawberry chunks tend to be too large and too frozen, but this wasn’t the case with Mrs. Cavanaugh’s. The Mindy Mint scoop likewise had plenty of tiny bits of the mint truffle candies, and the bits in both flavors were just the right size to make it so licking the cone wasn’t awkward.

While the Mindy Mint scoop was enjoyable, the power of the mint flavor became slightly overbearing by the end of the cone. In contrast, the strawberry cone left me wishing I had more.

Locations: Bountiful, North Ogden, Layton, North Salt Lake, West Valley and Orem

How much: Prices start at $1.25 for a child scoop, $2 for a single scoop in a cake cone or small bowl and $3 for a single scoop in a waffle cone or large bowl. Pints, quarts and gallons are also available.

Scoop score: 3 out of 4 scoops